The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday refused the post of pro-tem Speaker of Delhi Assembly to party MLA Jagdish Mukhi, adding to the confusion over who would preside over the Assembly session on January 1.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had offered the post to Jagdish Mukhi, who is the senior-most MLA in the 70-member house. However, party sources said that their MLAs did not want to take up such responsibilities.
Apart from presiding over the House, till a Speaker is elected, the pro-tem Speaker administers oath of office and secrecy to the newly-elected MLAs, which was scheduled for January 1.
On January 2, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is expected to prove its majority on the floor of the house and thence, each MLAs vote counts. Along with eight Congress MLAs, AAP’s government has a simple majority in the house by one vote only.
BJP sources, however, confirmed that the party is keen on contesting for the post of Speaker.
The Speaker plays a pivotal role in the House proceedings and being the single largest party in the House, if it wins the Speaker’s seat, the BJP can have a upper hand.
"Now the chief minister will have to recommend a name and they will have to decide after consulting with the L-G as to who should be appointed pro-tem Speaker," said a senior BJP leader.
The Congress is extending outside support to Aam Aadmi Party government but it is yet to take a decision on support in the election to the post of Speaker.